The Great Debate UK

from Breakingviews:

Microsoft ought to kick off search for Bing buyer

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK -- Microsoft needs to concentrate on a different kind of search: finding a buyer for Bing, its online search business. The industry's distant number two is a distraction for the software giant -- and one that costs shareholders dearly. The division that houses Bing lost $2.6 billion in the latest fiscal year. Facebook, or even Apple, might make a better home for Bing. And a sale would be a boon for Microsoft's investors.

Microsoft has been pouring money into Bing -- this year's losses are greater than the previous year. The company thinks search makes Microsoft's offerings in everything from mobile phones to business software more compelling. Perhaps, but there's little evidence to date. And Bing and sites it powers like Yahoo still only control about 27 percent of the U.S. market. Google has more than twice as much.

Advertisers don't want a monopoly in the search business, which should assure Bing of some future revenue. And Google may be partially hamstrung in competition by antitrust probes worldwide. But the business has more value to a buyer that could bring it traffic.

from The Great Debate:

Forget Microsoft, Yahoo’s value is overseas

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-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

eric_auchard_columnist_shot_2009_june_300_px2The fate of Yahoo Inc has become intertwined in the public's imagination with the success or failure of its dealings with Microsoft Corp in recent years.

That's despite the fact that as much as 70 percent of the value investors put on Yahoo's depressed shares are tied up in its international assets or cash holdings -- factors that have nothing to do with Microsoft.

from Commentaries:

Apple-Google learn Corporate Governance 1.0

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LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The resignation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt from Apple's board should come as no surprise to anyone with an inkling of what corporate governance means.

But then Silicon Valley's idea of corporate boards has long consisted of cozy, interlocking directorships which would be considered collusion in most other industries.

from Commentaries:

Saying boo to Micro-hoo: Eric Auchard

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Eric AuchardLONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - There's been a bonfire of shareholder value at Yahoo and the blaze is not out yet, even after the agreement to a long-delayed deal with Microsoft.

Eighteen months ago, Yahoo walked away from Microsoft's nearly $45 billion acquisition offer -- a 60 percent premium to Yahoo's then market value.

from Commentaries:

I am thinking of rebranding myself as Zing

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Some tech links to start the week:

I am seriously considering changing my byline to Zing, what with all the media attention a certain search engine is getting.

Bing search for Eric Auchard

The New York Times looks at the ups and downs of turning brands into verbs. The jumping off point is Bing, Microsoft's effort at verbal one-upsmanship over Google, Twitter and over generic daily activities. The software giant must alter deeply ingrained computer habits to succeed. In the meantime, my original questions about Bing remain.

from The Great Debate:

Advancing global Internet freedom

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Leslie Harris -- Leslie Harris is the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, DC. The views expressed are her own. --

In the wake of troubling reports as recently as last year that Western companies were assisting China with Internet censorship and the unmasking of cyber-dissidents, governments around the world seemed poised to regulate the conduct of Internet companies. Lawmakers appear to have stepped back from those efforts, but the challenges of advancing global Internet freedom remain.

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